Emergency Issue of Blood

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6ml EDTA Pink capped bottle

In Emergency situations Uncrossmatched O Negative units or Group Specific red cells can be issued where there is insufficient time to wait for complete compatibility testing.

The laboratory MUST be informed of All Emergency/Urgent Crossmatch requests by telephone during both routine and on-call hours. This is an essential  part of providing blood as quickly as possible.

A Blood Grouping sample must be sent to the laboratory immediately.

It is a Medical decision to transfuse Uncrossmatched blood. 

Emergency O RhD Negative red cells: available in less than ten minutes. There are four units of Emergency O Rh D Negative red cells available from the Blood Bank Issue fridge at all times. The request for uncrossmatched blood must be made by phone and all relevant/known patient details given in order to issue blood. Availability of O Rh D Negative red cells is often limited. It is therefore essential that the laboratory receive a correctly labelled Grouping sample immediately.  

Uncrossmatched red cells (Group Specific): available in ten minutes from time a Grouping sample has been received in the laboratory (a current sample is necessary). Group O Rhesus specific red cells or red cells of the patient’s own ABO and Rh D group are issued uncrossmatched by the laboratory. This request must be accompanied by a phone call to inform the laboratory.

Urgent Crossmatch: available in one hour from the time a sample is received in the laboratory provided the patient does not have any irregular antibodies. 

Refer to ‘A Guideline for the use of Blood and Blood Components in the Management of Massive Haemorrhage’ issued by the National Blood Users Group, Nov. 2002. Refer to www.ibts.ie/publications